Make yourself aware of underlying metaphors in your communication. Metaphors can be very useful when you use them for elaboration of a topic. For example, we often speak about verbal arguments in terms of war metaphors. (Your claims are indefensible. He attacked every weak point in my argument. He shot down all of my arguments. If you use that strategy, he’ll wipe you out.) Metaphors structure much of our thinking and communication. But the metaphors we use can also limit us in subtle ways. If you always think of arguments in terms of war, you may miss out on the benefits of thinking of the situation differently, perhaps in terms of a game, or a dance.

You can also turn this metaphor-speak to your advantage. When trying to join a new group you can use the same metaphors they use to better “speak their language.”

Author's Bio: 

Tad Waddington says he achieved literacy while getting his MA from the University of Chicago’s Divinity School where he focused on the history of Chinese religions. He achieved numeracy while getting his PhD from the University of Chicago in measurement, evaluation and statistical analysis. He achieved efficacy as Director of Performance Measurement for Accenture. He is currently seeking to achieve a legacy with such books as Return on Learning and Lasting Contribution. To find out more, go to www.lastingcontribution.com.